We’re guessing you already watched the Champions League final and know the result. While watching, you would have seen that Liverpool’s talismanic winger, Mohamed Salah, had to be subbed off injured in the first half thanks to a challenge from Sergio Ramos. So what was the diffence between Liverpool with and without Salah?
Well, while Salah was on the field, Liverpool had nine shots on goal in total. After he went off injured, they failed to have another shot on goal in the first half. Not even one.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 26, 2018
Reds fans will obviously be disappointed about the result, and understandably so. A Gareth Bale bicycle kick will do that to you.
But looking ahead for next season and beyond, Liverpool absolutely need to have a strong backup for Salah. Adam Lallana isn’t exactly going to set the world alight, and does not possess the same qualities that Salah does.
As an easy example, the only player with more goals than Salah across all competitions this season is Lionel Messi – and Salah's production rate is actually higher than Messi's, with Salah scoring .85 goals per game compared to .83 for Messi. (In fact, the only player with a substantially higher production rate than Salah this season is Cristiano Ronaldo, who averages one goal per game across all competitions.)
45 - Lionel Messi finished the 2017-18 campaign as the top scoring player in the Top 5 European Leagues (all competitions); netting one more than both Mohamed Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo. Sensations. pic.twitter.com/Uw9BZ919K8— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 27, 2018
The pace and dribbling skills that Liverpool’s own Egyptian king possesses are very hard to find in today’s transfer market for a reasonable price, but the Reds must find someone to help take the burden off of Salah’s shoulders.
Time will tell as to what Klopp does in the upcoming transfer window, but they need some extra quality in that side and on the bench to remain competitive both domestically and in European competition.